Oops! I gained a pound!

I’m sure it has nothing to do with being sedentary with a bum foot and eating like I’m still going to the gym. Yeah. Right.

Oh, well… I need to be a bit better before the big over-eating day on Thursday. Next Friday’s weigh-in will be interesting, for sure!

Last night’s dinner started off with a recipe I found on La Cucina Italiana – in Italian, of course. Conde Nast stopped the English issue several years ago – bastards that they are. It sounded intriguing – and easy.

The recipe was for 4 servings, so I cut it in half and made two individual tarts. I think the recipe should have been for 8 – we both ate half and were more than satisfied. You definitely want to use a good parmesan, here.

Fritatta Di Riso

adapted from La Cucina Italiana

  • 500 g milk
  • 150 g arborio rice
  • 60g grana padano / parmesan
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • butter
  • salt

Bring the milk to a boil. Boil the rice in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and finish cooking in boiling milk for about 15 minutes.

Put the cooked rice in a cold bowl, add a knob of butter and stir vigorously; When the mixture is lukewarm, incorporate the egg yolks, one at a time, the parmesan cheese and finally the egg whites, whipped until stiff.

Pour the mixture into a cake tin with a diameter of 22 cm/8″ lined with baking paper.

Bake at 180 °C for about 1 hour. Here is your rice omelette ready.


I also made an old standby – Pork Chops with Pears and Red Onions – a Lidia recipe from 20+ years ago.


I foolishly added potatoes to the recipe because I have been doing that for years. I definitely didn’t need them last night.

As with most recipes, I tend to make my own tweaks – and this one is no different. The base is fabulous, but there are a couple of steps I don’t bother with.

First, is making the balsamic reduction. I generally don’t have the cheap balsamic in the house – but I do have a really good 15 year aged balsamic I used for drizzling on top when it was time to serve.

Next is finally realizing that bone-in pork chops are the only chops worth buying. Boneless tend to be too tough and inconsistent. Also, I don’t peel my pears. I don’t peel a lot of fruits and vegetables – lots of texture and nutrients, there.

Lidia’s Pork Chops with Pears and Caramelized Red Onions

  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 center-cut pork rib chops, each about 12 ounces and 1 1/4 inches thick
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ripe but firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey

In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat to a gentle boil and boil until the vinegar is syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet with a flameproof handle over medium-high heat. Whack garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and scatter over oil. Cook, shaking the skillet, until brown, about 2 minutes. Lay the pork chops in and cook until the underside is browned, about 6 minutes. Remove and reserve the garlic cloves if they become more than deep golden brown before the chops are fully browned.

Turn the chops, tuck the onion wedges into the pan and continue cooking until the second side of the chops is browned, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. About halfway through browning the second side, tuck the pear wedges in between the chops.

Stir the red wine vinegar and honey together in a small bowl, until the honey is dissolved. Pour the mixture into the skillet and bring to a vigorous boil. Return the garlic cloves to the skillet if you have removed them. Place the skillet in the oven and roast until onions and pears are tender and the juices from the pork are a rich, syrupy dark brown, about 30 minutes. Once or twice during roasting, turn the chops and redistribute the onions and pears. Handle the skillet carefully — it will be extremely hot.

Remove skillet from the oven. Place a chop in the center of each warmed serving plate. Check the seasoning of the onion-pear mixture, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Spoon the pears, onion and pan juices around the chops. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar reduction around the edge of the plate.

Makes 4 servings.

It was way too much food and neither of us cleaned our plates.

Back to being a little more realistic in our portions – until Thursday!